Simple Sunday: Organizing Digital Pictures

If you are anything like the normal American home, you have thousands of digital pictures stored on your camera or computer haphazardly.  This haunted me for a long time… if I die, how are my kids going to even understand where to find pictures?

So, here’s what I do.

Before uploading pictures from my camera, I create a folder for each month of photos.  So, for example, the last time I uploaded there were pictures from October, November and December.  I created new folders for these three months.  When labeling these folders, I put the year first then the month… this allows all the same year to be posted together and in order.  (i.e.  201210, 201211, 201212)  

Next, I manually upload the pictures into the corresponding folders.  You will need to check your camera instructions for this– but, basically I select the October pictures and upload them on their own, then November, then December into their specific folders.  Otherwise, you will have a lot of dragging and dropping to move them into their folders.

Once all my pictures are uploaded, I create sub-folders in each month’s folder for the “important” pictures.  So, in the November folder, there would be a sub-folder for Thanksgiving.  Because I also scrapbook, each month also has a sub-folder for scrapbooking that I move the pictures to that I want to print.

You have your subfolders created and now you need to move those particular pictures into those categories.  All you have to do is highlight them, drag and drop them using the shift key  (for a single photo or a span of photos beside each other) or the control (ctrl) key for individual photos you want to select in a group.  See my note below if you are unsure how to do this.

At this point– because we all know I am crazy– I download these pictures to a blank CD and I upload them to Walmart’s photo department.  I get whatever pictures printed that I am going to scrapbook (no, I don’t print them all!)  and have Walmart also create me a CD of my pictures.  

I never used to do the two-CD thing, just relying on my computer to keep these pictures safe, until I “lost” a computer one day.  Thankfully, we had our scrapbooks, but I lost all our photos from the first part of my husband and I’s marriage.  Plus, I figure if my computer crashes, the chances of Walmart’s server going down is slim to none, so they will have my back up.

There you have it… how I organize my photos.  How do you do it?

To select a single photo: click the photo name with your mouse and then while holding down the right side mouse button, you can drag it around to the specific folder.

To select a range of photos next to each other:  click the first photo, hold down the shift button and click the last photo in the range, click the highlighted photos with your mouse and while continuing to hold down the right side mouse button you can drag the group to the specific folder.

To select multiple individual photos:  Click the first photo, hold down the CTRL button and click the next photo and so on.  Click the highlighted photos with your mouse and while continuing to hold down the right side mouse button you can drag, as a group, those individual photos to the designated folder.


  1. Anonymous says:

    well of course this would be what you do you ORganized person !!!!!!

  2. Found you via blog hop—I totally need to organize my pictures!!!!! It just takes SO much time…that I don’t want to spend doing it:) One day, right?! Hope you come check us out at!


  3. Hey, not bad. I agree, once you get caught up all you have to do is stay with it each time you upload from your camera. I have my pics on two computers through my various PS programs and I save them again on a stand alone hard drive. Important pics are saved on the free 2 GB in the air somewhere. I keep it clean so I don’t have to pay for extra storage. Picasa does the same thing but I’m not a fan of Picasa. I deleted everything, 3000 photos trying to delete just on picture. Got them all back but it was a mess for awhile.

    Nice posting.

  4. great ideas! I desperately need to organize my pics and you have now given me the inspiration to do it! No more procrastination (my greatest character flaw)!!!!

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